As a result, local companies are increasingly concerned with the pool of skilled workers in Southeast Tennessee. Test scores also show American students falling behind in critical STEM subjects, with U.S. teenagers ranking 23rd in science and 31st in math among other industrialized nations.
The state of Tennessee and our region are working to address this educational dilemma. The Southeast Tennessee STEM Innovation Hub is a new resource established with support from the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network and operated locally through the Public Education Foundation.
This new STEM Innovation Hub will provide training and resources to educators, students and organizations throughout the region in its mission to advance teaching excellence and student achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.
To fulfill this goal, the STEM Innovation Hub established the STEM Teaching Fellows program. This program will train up to 30 outstanding area teachers each year in best practices for advancing student achievement in STEM subjects.
The inaugural cohort of STEM Teaching Fellows is comprised of 26 teachers serving in elementary, middle and high schools from six counties in Southeast Tennessee. This group of STEM Teaching Fellows will join an innovative group community of leaders charged with dramatically improving our children’s knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Three teachers from Bradley County have been selected for this regional training program. This includes Bo Borders and Alan Bivens from Walker Valley High School and Kari Ivester from Bradley Central High School.
Having completed their first workshop in May, the local STEM Teaching Fellows are now working on a comprehensive summer project requiring input from Bradley County business leaders and community members.
Through their STEM Community Asset Mapping project, the STEM Teaching Fellows will identify local resources for supporting students’ hands-on, real-world learning both inside and outside of the classroom.
As a part of this work, the local STEM Teaching Fellows will be holding a community meeting to bring Bradley County citizens into the STEM conversation. A representative from the new STEM Innovation Hub will provide information on STEM and its importance to our economy and educational system.
Then the participants will discuss the ways in which STEM education can be enhanced in our local schools through partnerships with local businesses, nonprofits and community members.
The STEM meeting is open to the public and will be held July 9 at 6 p.m. at Walker Valley High School.
Contact Bo Borders or Alan Bivens at 336-1383 or Kari Ivester at 476-0650 for more information about this meeting and our regional STEM Initiative.